Tag Archives: January 2023

Five Things: January 19, 2023

On the slopes at Timberline

 

1. Half of our KFDC crew (and a few friends) went skiing at Timerberline for the first time this past weekend. A post about it is coming soon, but the gist: They give the West Virginia resort a big thumbs up!

 

2. The real estate website, Redfin, recently shared Unique Things to Do in Alexandria: 11 Things to Experience as a Newbie with recommendations for places to go and activities to enjoy from area  bloggers. You might recognize at least one of them! 😉

 

3. A new exhibit is opening at the National Children’s Museum this Saturday, January 21. XOXO: An Exhibit About Love & Forgiveness provides children and caregivers the opportunity to think about and explore feelings to help them understand, appreciate, and express their emotions through facial expressions, words, movement, art-making, and other hands-on activities.  Read more about the museum here.

 

4. I’m on the hunt for a cute shacket! Anyone else?  Three options I’m looking at:  This yellow plaid, a nice soft gray, and this teddy version.

 

5.  17! ❤️❤️❤️  (And a little flashback about it.)

 

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Filed under 2023, Five Things, Winter

Celebrate the Chinese New Year at the Winter Lantern Festival

 

While most of the enchanting light displays that illuminated the holiday season have closed, one is still here…  The Winter Lantern Festival, which made its DC area debut in December, is still welcoming visitors on weekends, offering a brilliant way to celebrate the Chinese New Year and enjoy the luminous works of art a little longer.

The Winter Lantern Festival has transformed Lerner Town Square in Tysons, VA, into an illuminated wonderland with over 1,000 Chinese lanterns, all handmade by artisans with decades of experience.  See Chinese myths, legends, and zodiacs “brought to light” as you wander through it all.  The vibrant lanterns also come in forms of animals, including turtles, polar bears, mammoths, and penguins. And you can do more than just look at some of them — interactive elements include light swings, see-saws, and tunnels.

The Chinese New Year begins this weekend, January 22, and celebrations continue beyond that!  The Winter Lantern Festival is running through February 12, plenty of time to work it into your family’s schedule.  Tickets are available through the website, and you can also look for a discount on them here.

 

Winter Lantern Festival
Where: Lerner Town Square | Tysons, VA
When: Through February 12, Fri – Sun, 5-10pm
Admission: $31.99/age 13+, $19.99/age 3-12 (look for discount)

 

This post is sponsored by the Winter Lantern Festival, however, I only promote events, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2023, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up:
January 13-16

 

Happy Weekend!

Quick links to ideas for ongoing fun:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area

Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
Ice Skating
The Great Indoors
Local Hikes with Kids
Baltimore with Kids
Peaceful Places
Bike Rides

Celebrate MLK
Where: Around the DMV & Online
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

MLK Day may be on Monday, but there are events and activities that pay tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout the whole weekend, Volunteer opportunities, art adventures, self-guided tours of local sights, and a few special events are some of the ways you can celebrate the day. This post has details on all of them.

Winter Inspo
Where: Around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

Don’t let the cold keep you from getting outdoors. This post, written during the height of Covid, is full of recs for activities that take place in the fresh air, from hikes to art experiences to seasonal sports to garden explorations to all-season fun.  (And for indoors, check out these activities recommended in the Winter Break guide.)

No Excuses, No Limits
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Tickets: $20

ILL-ABILITIES, the international all-star breakdance crew of seven of the world’s best differently-abled dancers, is bringing an inspiring, high-energy show to the Kennedy Center stage. No Excuses, No Limits takes audiences on a journey of each dancer’s story through dance, music, audience interaction, and a gained understanding of the limitless possibilities that any person can hold. Recommended for ages 7+.

Maker Morning: Shape of You
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday,10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Kids (and adults) of all ages are welcome to drop by the Hirshhorn for its monthly Maker Morning. The theme is “Shape of You,” and there will be hands-on stations throughout the Museum to celebrate all the things that make you special. An affirmation station, postcard drawing, self-love library, and portrait making activities will be available to explore. And if you’re planning to go, try to see Yayoi Kusama’s One with Eternity, too!

Wonderful World of Watkins
Where: Watkins Regional Park | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free 

Go over the rainbow and beyond at Watkins Regional Park – there is so much fun to be had at the PG County locale.  Visit the Old Maryland Farm to see the animals, and spend time at Watkins Nature Center to view even more cool creatures and birds.  The adorable Wizard of Oz themed playground will have kiddos frolicking for hours. Trails winding through the woods make for nice hikes, too!

See Some Wizardry
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday, 7pm & Monday, 3pm

Admission: Ticket prices vary
The Wizards have a couple of home games this weekend — on Friday evening and Monday afternoon, when kids are off school and many parents have the day off work. See the on court action against the New York Knicks at 7pm on Friday and the Golden State Warriors on Monday at 3pm. Plan on a pre-game dinner or lunch in Penn Quarter — there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. My top recs: Jaleo, Carmine’s, Oyamel, and Shake Shack.

Cool Hikes
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

It’s going to be a nice winter weekend, great for some time on the trail. Tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods with the kids.  Some specific recs for right now:  Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in McLean, Fountainhead Regional Park in Fairfax, Rock Creek Park in Northwest DC, Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis.

Beauty and the Beast Jr.
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre | Arlington, VA
When:  Friday through January 22
Tickets: $15/adult, $13/child

Encore Stage & Studio presents this “by kids for kids” show… The classic story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, meeting a Beast, who is the young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end, and he will be transformed to his former self. If the Beast does not learn his lesson before the last rose petal falls, he and his household including Mrs. Pots, Lumiere and Mr. Cogsworth will be cursed forever. Join us for a tale as old as time in Encore’s production of Beauty and the Beast Jr!

Moonshot Studio
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free
Get creative at the studio within The REACH at the Kennedy Center.  All ages are welcome and encouraged to partake in various art projects and activities. Drop in for hands-on art making and plan for time to stroll the lovely outdoor areas as well.

Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Parks throughout Fairfax County, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts all kinds of events on weekends for guests of all ages. Join an Astronomy Festival at Turner Farm Park.  Learn fun facts about penguins and polar bears at Riverbend Park.  Make a bird feeder at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park.  Go on a wildlife walk at Huntely Meadows.  Details and registration for these and more activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

Model Trains & Thomas
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admisison: Free

Stop by the Historic Vienna Train Station where you can see and hear HO scale model trolleys and trains including Thomas and some of his friends on display and in operation. It’s a great family activity for the young and young at heart.  Hosted by the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders, the station is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, VA.

Entertainment Nation/Nación del espectáculo
Where: National Museum of American History | National Mall, DC
When: Daily except for 12/25, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

If you want to check out a new-ish (not Newish, haha) exhibit, Entertainment Nation/Nación del espectáculo the centerpiece of the new CUlture Wing at the American History Museum is a good one. Featuring an extraordinary collection of theater, music, sports, movie and television objects, the exhibition exploring how entertainment has provided a forum for important national conversations about who we are, and who we want to be.  It’s very engaging and full of displays that will spark nostalgia for adults and wonder for kids — you’ll have a blast sharing memories with them!  While you’re there, stop in the Spark!Lab (age 6-12, Weds – Sat, 11am – 4pm) or Wegman’s Wonderplace (ages 0-6, Weds/Thurs/Sun 11am – 4pm) for kids to get hands-on.

Intangible Forms
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Starting Saturday through
Admission: $19/adult, $16/local, $15/child, $60/Family 4-pack
A new exhibition is opening at ARTECHOUSE, the gallery known for fusing art and technology. Intangible Forms “blurs (sic) the lines between what is real, what is not, and what it means to be human, Intangible Forms offers you the opportunity to pause and exist outside of normal space and time.” Choreographed kinetic lasers, strobes, haze, and moving lights hep make it an immersive experience. Recommended for ages 6+.

Mind Tricks
Where: Museum of Illusions | CityCenter, DC
When: Sun – Thurs, 10am – 8pm |Fri – Sat, 10am – 9pm
Admission: $42/adult, $18/age 5-12

We haven’t yet been  been to this recently opened venue, but it sounds like a fun one to explore. It’s a “one-of-a-kind edutainment destination where you can immerse yourself in the wonderful world of illusions! Guests will enjoy more than 50 visual and educational exhibits featuring holograms, stereograms, optical illusions, and immersive rooms that are designed to tease the senses and trick the mind.”

Ice It
Where: Ice skating rinks around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

Glide under the sky and stars — or indoors if that’s your preference.  Get your skate on and and art at the Sculpture Garden.  Glide over the Potomac on The Wharf’s awesome rink. Circle around Washington Harbour as you enjoy river views. Meander along the Figure 8 path at Canal Park. Do some shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. Or head to an ice arena for some skating out of the elements.  This post has details on alfresco and indoor ice skating options in the area.

All Downhill…
Where: Ski resorts around the region
When: Through winter
Admission: Varies by resort

With an extra day this weekend, how about heading to the slopes for a day trip or even an overnight? (Half of our fam is doing just that!) Skiing is a fun and active way to enjoy some family time, and there are a bunch of ski resorts within a few hours’ drive that are great for young, newbie skiers (and veteran swooshers, too). This post has info about Whitetail and one of our day trips there last winter. And other relatively close resorts for day trips are Liberty and Bryce.  Farther away, but good to check out for longer trips are Roundtop, Massanutten, Wintergreen,  Seven Springs,  Hidden Valley,  Snowshoe,  Timberline, and Wisp.

Movie & a Meal
Where: The Alamo | Northeast DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: $13/adult, $11/child, $12/senior
After 4pm – $15/adult, $13/child, $14/senior

Catching a flick with the kds is always fun, even better when you can enjoy a real meal, too.  The Alamo is the only theater in the city where you can do that — and it’s a good one! The theaters are nice, the seating is comfortable, and the food is tasty. See what’s playing there now. (PS:  There’s also a location in Crystal City, VA.)

All Caps
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary (look for a discount)

For sports action on ice, catch the Capitals on Saturday afternoon as they host the Philadelphia Flyers. See the above restaurant recs in the Wizards listing for a fam-friendly bite before the match.

College Hoops
Where: Colleges around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by game
With so many universities in the area, there’s always some good college hoops action going on during the season — and it’s always a good time for families. Here are some games to catch this weekend:
* Maryland women vs Rutgers on Saturday at 1pm
* American women vs Lehigh on Saturday at 2pm
* George Mason men vs Davidson on Saturday at 3pm
* George Mason women vs GWU University on Monday at 12pm
* George Mason men vs GWU on Monday at 4pm
* Howard men vs Morehouse on Monday at 7pm

Baltimore, Hon!
Where: All Around Charm City | Baltimore, MD
When: All Weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

The long weekend is a great time for a day trip (or even overnight) to Baltimore — there are so many great family-friendly attraction there, you may want an extra day to enjoy a few. Explore the exhibits at Maryland Science Center. See some of the quirkiest, coolest art ever at the American Visionary Art Museum. Play the day away at Port Discovery. Get an eyeful of the underwater world at the National Aquarium. View history in the works at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. And even more! This KFDC guide has the scoop.

Art & Maritime Explorations
Where: Calvert County, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Make a day of it in Calvert County, where you can visit a couple of places for fun, fascinating, hands-on adventures. Annmarie Sculpture Garden is hosting a special art project in honor of MLK. you can also tour beautiful works around the grounds and indoors, and play in the delightful Fairy Lolly.  Also out that way is the Calvert Marine Museum, where you can see interesting exhibits, including display cases full of fossils and artifacts, plus live fish and other creatures. There’s also a play area and a real lighthouse to tour. Hours are 10am – 5pm with two -hours sessions 10am – 12pm, 12:30-2:30pm, and 3-5pm, and admission is $9/adult, $4/ages 5-12, free/4 & under.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: Monday
Admission: Free!

In honor of MLK Day, it’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no cost for entry where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, or enjoy hiking and history at Harpers Ferry. Find even more national parks around the area and beyond.

Glow with It
Where: Around Georgetown
When: Through January 22, nightly
Admission: Free
A great evening activity with the fam: A stroll around the neighborhood to see Georgetown Glow, then a fun dinner.  The free outdoor public art experience featuring modern light art installations is running for another week, so check it out while you can. Find a map of them here and plan your walking route. And a few restaurant recs: Pizzeria Paradiso, Filomena, Farmers Fishers BakersPinstripes, and Peacock Cafe.

The Ins & Outs of DC
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by adventure

Want even more options for fun things to do with the kids around the area? If you’re looking for activities outdoors or inside, depending on the weather or simply your preference, these posts are chock full of ongoing pursuits:
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids
The Great Indoors

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* How cool is this? And if it sparks some inspiration, you’ll definitely want to check out this KFDC post.
* A fun idea for a weeknight date night!
If you have teens who love to cook, Sur la Table offers all kinds of classes for ages 14 and up (also, for adults and occasionally for younger kids, too)!
* Who else’s inner tween is so excited for this movie?
* Tips on Mid-Century Modern design from an expert.
* I looove this bag that my friend had when we met for dinner the other night. On a search for something similar, I found this less expensive one, these cool options, and this more beltish style.
A good chuckle.

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Filed under 2023, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend

Five Things: January 11, 2023

Winter activity? Go on a mural hunt!

 

1.  Need some winter inspo?  With Covid seeming to spike and mild weather, this post that was published late 2020 is a good one to highlight right now.  It’s full of ideas for activities that take place outdoors, from nice hikes to art experiences to seasonal sports to garden explorations to all-season fun.

 

2.  Saturday Morning Live! at the National Theatre has been back in person since last fall, presenting FREE kids’ entertainment every month targeted to ages 3-6 (but all are welcome).  The series’ January show is this Saturday:  The Uncle Devin Show will bring an interactive musical experience for children by renowned drummer, Devin Walker. Performances are at 9:30am and 11:30am and advance registration is requested.

 

3. Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week is about to begin.  From January 16-22, a selection of DC restaurants will be offering 3-course lunches and brunches for $25 and 3-course dinners for $40 and $55.  A few faves in the mix:  Ambar, La Collina, The Salt Line, Moon Rabbit, and Zaytinya.  And one I’m eyeing to finally try: Supra.

 

4. Just finished this beautiful novel that came out several years ago, and it is the best book I’ve read in a long time.  (It’s the kind of book you want to see made into a movie, and I already have the roles cast in my head.) Also just started  this one that is getting huge raves, and so far I understand the hype — it’s hard to put down!

 

5. For the White Lotus fans, in case you missed this last night. So good.

 

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Filed under 2023, DC, Five Things, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: January 6-8

A winter hike at Roosevelt Island

 

Happy Weekend!

Quick links to ideas for ongoing fun:
Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
Best Outdoors in the DC Area

Ice Skating
The Great Indoors
Local Hikes with Kids
Baltimore with Kids
Peaceful Places
Bike Rides

Lingering Lights
Where: Throughout the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The holidays may be over, but several holiday light displays are still running through this weekend (at least one even beyond). So, if you didn’t get to experience the twinkling wonderlands during the season, or you just really like the festive illuminations, there’s still some time to see Georgetown Glow, the Winter Lantern Festival in Tysons, Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Garden, and Bull Run Festival of Lights.

Storytime
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Friday, 10am
Admission: Free

Join the museum to play and hear Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar in English and Spanish. All ages are welcome, especially the youngest visitors. The program will take place in the East Building Atrium — no registration  required.

Weekend Workshops
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to do some art making! All ages are welcome to get creative at Weekend Workshops. Learn about artists and changemakers, then create art inspired by their stories. Of course, explore the whole museum while you’re there. See more about the National Portrait Gallery here.

Culture Queen Kids Hour
Where: Anacostia Community Museum
When: Saturday, 11am – 12pm

Admission: Free, but reserve a spot
Join Grammy-nominated children’s entertainer, Culture Queen, for an “I Like The Me I See!” session that explores self-love and body positivity. Culture Queen will be holding court at the Anacostia Community Museum on first Saturdays of the month with live performances, interactive community building, stories, crafts, movement, and more.

Drop-in Art Making
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Drop in to make some art at the National Gallery of Art! During this session of the monthly series, create paper quilts inspired by the artists of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, then visit the original works on display in the exhibit Called to Create: Black Artists of the American South. This will take place in the East Building atrium – no reservation is needed.

Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Parks throughout Fairfax County, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts all kinds of events on weekends for guests of all ages.  Join a full moon nature hike and campfire at Lake Fairfax Park.  Look for flying squirrels at Hidden Oaks Nature Center.  Learn how to build a fire at Riverbend Park. Details and registration for these and more activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

Park it in MoCo
Where: MoCo Parks | Montgomery County, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Montgomery Parks also presents loads of special activities for visitors of all ages. Learn about honeybees at Brookside Nature Center.  Join a raptor caretake chat at Meadowside Nature Center.  Make snowflakes at  Black Hill Visitor Center. Find details on these activities and more!

Moonshot Studio
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free
Get creative at the studio within The REACH at the Kennedy Center.  All ages are welcome and encouraged to partake in various art projects and activities. Drop in for hands-on art making and plan for time to stroll the lovely outdoor areas as well.

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through Sunday
Tickets:$12-39
It’s the final weekend to catch this show based on Mo Willems’ book…  When clothing suddenly falls from the sky, Wilbur J. Mole Rat stuns the colony with his decision to get dressed! In a community where baring is caring and skin is in, can Wilbur find the courage to rock to the rhythm of his own electric guitar? Based on Mo Willem’s beloved picture book, the show explores what can happen when we have the courage to be ourselves. Recommended for ages 4-10.

Recreation on Ice
Where: Ice skating rinks around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

Glide under the sky and stars — or indoors if that’s your preference.  Take in art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden.  Glide over the Potomac on The Wharf’s awesome rink. Circle around Washington Harbour as you enjoy river views. Meander along the Figure 8 path at Canal Park. Do some shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. Or head to an ice arena for some skating out of the elements.  This post has details on alfresco and indoor ice skating options in the area.

Nature Calling
Where: Nature centers around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

If you want to get a dose of the outside world in the comfort of the indoors head to a nature center. There are several great ones around the area that offer engaging exhibits, including live creatures. Buddie Ford Nature Center in Alexandria, Watkins in Upper Marlboro, Potomac Overlook in Arlington, Long Branch in Falls Church, and Brookside in Silver Spring all make for a great outing.

All Caps
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday, 7pm & Sunday, 5pm
Admission: Tickets start at $42

For sports action on ice, watch the Capitals on Friday evening as they host the Nashville Predators or on Sunday when they play the Columbus Blue Jackets. Plan on a pre- or post-game meal in Penn Quarter — there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. Some recs: Jaleo, Carmine’s, Reren, and Shake Shack.

(W)Hoop it Up!
Where: Colleges around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

With so many universities in the area, there’s always some good college hoops action going on during the season — and it’s always a good time for families. Here are some games to catch this weekend:
* Maryland women vs Michigan State on Saturday at 1pm
* Howard men & women vs Delaware on Saturday at 2pm
* George Mason men vs Loyola Chicago on Saturday at 3pm
GW men vs. UMass on Saturday at 2pm
* Maryland men vs Ohio State on Sunday at 1pm
* American men vs. Boston U on Sunday at 3pm
* George Mason women vs Duquesne University on Sunday at 3pm

Break Up
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Winter Break may be over, but the guide for what to do during the time off from school is still great for finding activities for the weekend. Check out a special exhibit, see an iconic DC spot (or the city from a new vantage point), take a day trip, spend time outside, or be active indoors. Ideas galore!

 

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* This was a delightful suprise to start to the new year!
* Plan for live entertainment through winter with the help of this round-up of shows coming to local stages.
* The DC area’s 10 best casual restaurants, according to the Washington Post.
* Conde Nast Traveler’s 23 best places to go in 2023.
* 23 Healthy Recipes to Kick off 2023
* I watched some good movies over the break: The Fabelmans, Triangle of Sadness, The Banshees of Inisherin, and Decision to Leave are my top recs.
* 10 Happy Things for January 🙂

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Filed under 2023, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend, Winter